Monday, May 19, 2014

Things Fall Apart

16-inch composition Topsy circa 1930s

She's a 16-inch composition Topsy doll circa 1930s.  These dolls and others were named after the character, Topsy, in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.  I have written about Topsy dolls and the character that inspired them before.

This one's size of 16 inches is uncommon as most composition Topsy dolls vary from 6 to 13 inches.  There are other sizes, of course, but this size range is the most common.  I had desired a 16-inch version for years before finding this one.  Later, a darker skinned 16-inch companion surfaced.

Last week I noticed my little girl's head had shifted; it was in a chin-to-chest position.  She looked sad. To investigate the problem, I lifted her.  This caused all limbs to immediately fall to the floor.  The rubber band holding her head and limbs together was broken.  Since I have not mastered the technique of doll restringing, a visit to the resident doll doctor was in order.

Topsy awaits repair
In the doctor's absence, I placed the patient where she would be seen.  After seeing her, Doc Garrett asked for the stringing elastic he used to repair the previous doll that fell apart, a reproduction Terri Lee.  Within a few minutes Topsy was returned as good as new.

Topsy is as good as new with restrung head and limbs.  Her companion is happy to see her whole again.
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After Topsy's repair, I had Doc Garrett take a look at the next patient on the schedule, Bob Scout. 

Bob Scout by Kenner from 1974 is a 9-12 inch, multiarticulated "action figure."


Bob had originally been standing on the edge of a shelf with a World Peacekeeper action figure and a few playscale females.  Poor Bob suffered one too many falls to a carpeted floor from my shifting things around on that shelf to position a new playscale doll or to gain access to doll reference books that were behind him.  During the last fall, he lost his head.  I peeked inside the body cavity and noticed a broken notch designed to hold the neck knob in place, as illustrated next.



Bob's prognosis is not as positive as Topsy's.  According to Doc Garrett, "He can be fixed, but I'll have to take his body apart."  I asked if he could rig something that would hold the head in place.  "It's better to take him apart and do it right," he answered.  "Well, just sit him there and you can do it later when you have more time."


I know I'll have to give him a subtle reminder, such as placing Bob and Gorilla Glue on his desk.  But for now Bob sits on the edge of another shelf holding his head and patiently awaiting his turn to see the doctor.   

The good patient, Bob, waits quietly for his turn to see the doctor.

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8 comments:

  1. Poor dolls, but at least you have a doctor on duty, lol.

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    1. The resident doctor does comp in handy, Muff.

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  2. LOL! I'm glad that your dolls have a competent physician. My dolls in the infirmary have to rely on me, so their wait time will be long, and they will likely suffer.

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    1. Without him, my infirmary would be backed up with patients, too, Roxanne. I hope your patients don't have to suffer too long.

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  3. Oh, poor Bob. I had a Bullet Man (G.I. Joe) that was in a box in my closet for years after his arms and head fell off. I finally sold him. I wish I knew about doll doctors back then.

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    1. I'm glad you were able to find a new home for bullet man, April.

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  4. Good thing there is a doctor in the house!! I hope the doctor see Bob soon, he is a Code Orange (Disaster or Mass Casualties) patient. He must me seen at once.

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    1. Bob has definitely suffered severe trauma, Brini. I'll remind the doctor soon.

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